The Visual and Performing Instruction Philosophy
The arts are a universal language. Arts education can bridge the past to the present and is a vehicle for learning about people and places from around the world. Visual and Performing Arts education enhances a student's problem-solving skills using creativity, imagination, and personal choice.
The Visual Arts: The Visual Arts Department of Hampstead Academy is committed to the concept of developing students who can appreciate as well as create art and enjoy the satisfaction of the process in conjunction with the product. The program nurtures individual growth and positive self-image while developing responsible contributors within a cooperative community. Art-making experiences at Hampstead Academy allows students to develop skills and techniques related to a specific artist, time period, or art medium. Students investigate various materials used by both professional artists, craftsmen, or folk artists. An extraordinary art educator facilitates learning experiences that enrich the fundamentals of the art curriculum. Students are invited to think like an artist and are guided to envision, reflect, and refine, their own artistic creations. Art education allows students to respond and connect to a particular subject matter, or art medium in their own creative way. Students apply their learned skills to an assignment, and then select and prepare to present the work for a particular school event. The art program allows students to cultivate an appreciation for art aesthetics while guiding students to understand the art world. Art history is an important piece of learning as is developing skills to make art. Students are invited to be influenced by the unique ideas developed by artists from the past and our present culture. Hampstead Academy’s art curriculum is largely focused on The Studio Habits of Mind (Harvard Project Zero, 2007) written by Lois Hetland. The role of the art educator at Hampstead Academy is to nourish the mind and the hands with many diverse art experiences. Students have opportunities to respond to famous works of art, relate to art/artists, while growing in a nurturing environment.
The Performing Arts: The goal of the performing arts program at Hampstead Academy is to provide students with multiple opportunities to achieve a diverse and sophisticated appreciation of music and movement. Singing, dancing, playing instruments, listening, acting, and performing are curriculum priorities that enhance the entire academic and social life of the students. The students come to class knowing a "hands-on" approach to creating and performing awaits.
Emerging skills are observed and documented through a variety of assessments. Singing, performing, viewing and conversation within the classroom assist the child in oral and listening skills which help facilitate the reading and writing of music. Students are also encouraged to be leaders and mentors to each other, using personal skills to evaluate peers, assist in helping the performance through planning and implementing the performance, and providing positive feedback as to how to improve things and what worked the best. Our program provides students with a solid background in music literacy, which includes the music elements, music theory, and music notation. The students will gain a better understanding of the music language: able to read, write, and perform music. In short Hampstead Academy affirms an integrative, sequential approach to music which encourages students to reach full potential through activities blending the mind, body, and spirit and heighten awareness of the environment, community, and the world.